@mattab opened this Issue on November 9th 2018 Member

For example when using Custom Dimensions of scope "Page" as a way to track categories of an article, often an article can belong to multiple categories. Therefore it would be useful to be able to track multiple values for a same dimension. eg. the ability to define an array of values instead of just a string.

@mattab commented on November 12th 2018 Member

It is interesting to note that it seems possible to track multiple values for a given dimension using the "old" Custom Variables feature.
(which we plan to deprecate in the next year in https://github.com/matomo-org/matomo/issues/11524 although we will still support the feature afterwards in the Marketplace)

-> With Custom variables one can define the same variable in different "index / slots" and the multiple values will be recorded. This is useful when for example tracking multiple categories for a given Page or Article. Then one could send the data with for example a Tracking API request of piwik.php?idsite=1&rec=1&cvar={"1":["Page Category","Sports"],"2":["Page Category","Regional"]}

In the report of custom variables one can see the multiple values eg.
custom vars

(It may be the first time we realise a given use case/feature is offered in Custom Variables but not in Custom Dimension?)

@DiegoPino commented on May 10th 2019

@mattab is this a planned feature for 4.x? We have some need for this. (Digital Object repositories with many metadata values per key we need to segment on, hierarchical membership of a page/Digital Object inside a collection, etc)

To allow many values, right now we are basically tracking the page view many times (once per value). Not a "big" issue if you are always segmenting by the dimension value and all your reports depend on that. But totally an issue when dealing with global stats.

I even thought of building a custom Plugin to deal with this (if can totally understandhow to make that plugin to track a view once only but generate many entries into the dimension and also integrate correctly with Segmentation, but then that seems less portable than depending on a core (or core provided plugin) feature.

Another option would be for us to go back to Variables (but they lack other needs). Is deprecating them still planned?


@mattab commented on May 12th 2019 Member

We currently don't plan to implement this feature.
Deprecating custom variables is still planned, but the plugin will stil be available on the Marketplace anyway so will keep working.

@benwarfield-usds commented on October 22nd 2019

Is there some way to request that the feature be considered? Or is it ruled out by some architectural choice in the design of the new plugin? It's a little rough to have to tell my users "half of you want something that requires the deprecated (and presumably unmaintained) plug-in, and half of you want the new features in the new plug-in."

@mattab commented on May 26th 2020 Member

"half of you want something that requires the deprecated (and presumably unmaintained) plug-in, and half of you want the new features in the new plug-in."

Afaik the "define multiple values" would be the only benefit of custom variable over custom dimensions. It's usually quite an edge case, so almost everyone would be better with custom dimensions.

@benwarfield-usds commented on May 27th 2020

Indeed, it is the only feature that matches that description, as far as I’m aware. I’m not sure that telling my colleagues that they’re an edge case will really improve their situation, though. 😁

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